In July, Oracle released version 5 of VirtualBox, and after a couple of recent tweaks the latest version is now 5.0.2.
VirtualBox, which is available free of charge from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads, is a program that lets you create and run so-called Virtual Machines or VMs. A VM is effectively a complete operating system, running in a window on your existing PC. That operating system could be another copy of Windows, or perhaps Linux. You can even run multiple VMs at the same time, giving you a whole collection of computers that can be used for different things but which all share the same hardware.
Using a VM is a great way to try out a new operating system such as Linux. Create a VM, download the installer for the new OS, install the new OS into your VM, and then you can try it out. If you don't like it, just delete the VM and all traces of the new OS have disappeared.
New features in VirtualBox 5 include support for USB 3, better use of the host computer's CPU for faster VMs, as well as data encryption. Perhaps the neatest new feature is being able to drag and drop files between the host and guest. This means, for example, that you can download a file in your VM (perhaps from a web site that you don't necessarily trust), and then drag it onto your main computer once you've checked it out.
VirtualBox 5 is a download of around 110 MB and is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.
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